How to extend your media launch window to maximise impact
It’s natural to want to upload your final video files as quickly as possible to start the process of increasing your traffic and achieving your business objectives. By using the ‘Tease, Launch & Sustain’ activation strategy you will get much better results than by just bulk-uploading the videos to Youtube.
When releasing a new video, increase its impact by lengthening and sustaining your launch window by making the best use of multiple outputs, stills from the film and a planned delivery approach.
Origins of the technique
The ‘Tease, Launch & Sustain’ approach has traditionally been used when referring to physical product launches. It refers to a strategy where the product is firstly teased to the public before its launch, it is then released widely and, finally, it is supported with additional advertising to sustain the front-of-mind presence built from the launch.
Taking this same concept, we use the technique to sustain video presence with video outputs and stills. The purpose of this approach is to change your engagement spike into a steady engagement incline.
Planning ahead of time
When planning your video campaign, ensure that there is adequate time to receive the outputs and tease the video before the full launch date. Set your deadlines for the video delivery to a week or two before your launch date so that you will have enough time between the Tease and Launch phases.
To create an effective campaign, we recommend creating multiple cutdowns of varying lengths from your main piece of video content. The primary output will be the full-length Launch film, which will often be a 60-120 second hero piece. For Tease content, it’s important to use a short 15-20 second trailer that hints at content of the full video. Lastly, for the Sustain portion of the campaign, we recommended subdividing the central video into four sequential 6-second outputs to be used alongside still frames for retargeting. Let’s now unpack the way these outputs are used across the release of the video campaign.
We start with the 15-20 second trailer cut, which aims to prime the viewers for what is to come. It should be released organically 5-7 days before the main film is released and must match the tone and content of the full-length piece. If viewers are not interested in or cannot relate to this content, they will become a self-selecting audience. A tease piece gets rid of your uninterested ‘ad-skipper type’. This means that they won’t proceed to watch the full-length piece when it is released and, because of this, your tease piece will take a negative analytics hit, but these viewers will not pass along the bad data points of retention and short view times to the launch piece. The tease video also creates excitement among your audience about the upcoming video, and they will keep a look out for the full release.
Everything is built around the release of the full-length video output. Often, it will have a custom microsite or its own page, and it will be announced through an email campaign. The best way to launch this piece initially is through a full release to your organic reach and owned audiences. This can look like social media posts to your followers, email bursts to your past buyers, showing it to website visitors, and placing it where those who have brand affinity can see it. It can also be shared using lists, matching audiences and social affinity audiences.
Promoted still frames
At this point in the campaign, static paid posts that use a still image of the video are often the most efficient (and cost effective) way to propel people toward the main page to watch the film. The viewers have already been primed through the trailer, and will click-through to engage with a brand and content that they are already interested in. The cost per click will be lower for an image than a video, but the results will be very similar, and you will get to show your primed audience a webpage that supports the film and can include a call- to-action.
The first 7 days
During the first 7 days on YouTube, your video is given the benefit of the doubt with good indexing and will rank highly in the search results as YouTube waits for the data to build so that they can analyse and track engagement. After these 7 days, the view data kicks in to determine how the video should rate online. This will be based on average completion rate, likes and dislikes, and other data points. The better the positive data, the higher your video will rank on the index and in SEO. As such, it’s important to use your first 7 days to get the most positive data from your owned audiences as possible before expanding into new territories.
The key to sustaining the campaign is to continue activating your content in different ways over time. This will ensure that you don’t get a large drop off from your initial launch and instead continue to grow at a steady rate. When the 7 days have passed it is a good time to expand the video reach to a larger audience, namely to those viewers who aren’t as brand loyal, by using paid promotion.
To continue to expand the reach, share the video with interest audiences, active buyer audiences that relate to your products, people who are looking at your competitors and similar-to audiences through promoted posts.
Promoted focused stills
Once the video has been shared with a wider generic audience, you can transition to focusing on different audiences with appropriate stills from the film in a similar way to the Netflix thumbnail strategy. For example, if your hero film is about the emotional journey of a grandparent and their grandchild, you can use a still frame of the grandparent to promote the video to older audiences on Facebook, while using a still of the grandchild on a bike to promote to young families. With this strategy you can break down the target audiences of your content and create a dedicated approach that is appropriate for each. An important watch-out for this approach is that we want to reduce ‘click-bait’ that is enticing the wrong people who are not relevant to engage with our content. This in turn makes them disappointed and they will bounce off of the site and negatively impact the data. Only promote to audiences to whom the content is relevant.
Promoted 6 second cut-downs
One additional approach that can be used is to set up a retargeting campaign in YouTube. Having broken down the videos into 6-second sequential outputs, we can create a paid campaign where the videos play in order as a pre-roll in YouTube. Once they have watched the first, they will then be served the second when they watch the next video and so on. This allows us to focus on people who have seen the original video, remind them of different parts of the video (perhaps focusing on specific benefits of the product) and then encourage them to convert.
By using all three stages of ‘Tease, Launch & Sustain’, you will make the most of your video project and extend the reach of your brand. It will lengthen your media launch window and maximise impact by making the best use of still frames and multiple outputs.
Production is only half the story. Give us a call to speak further about how we can harness strategic insight and a strong activation plan to give your video campaign standout.